Elvis Presley live on stage

Scrum framework tells us that the Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be addressed during the upcoming Sprint. The goal is to inspect how the last Sprint was in terms of people, relationships, processes and tools; identify and order the most important elements that went well and possible improvements; and create a plan to implement these improvements.

This is the theory described in The Scrum Guide, which we all know to a greater or lesser extent, but what is described there must be known how to put it into practice. Who should facilitate it? What should be its content? Will the Scrum Master also participate? Which is the perfect Sprint Retrospective?

The number of Sprint Retrospective existing around an acronym is uncountable. KALM, SWOT, DAKI, RAID, FLAP or ROAM are some good examples of this, although mechanism is quite similar.

  • KALM (Keep, Add, Less, More)
  • SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • DAKI (Drop, Add, Keep, Improve)
  • RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies)
  • FLAP (Future considerations, Learned, Accomplishments, Problems)
  • ROAM (Resolved, Owned, Accepted, Mitigated).

There are also retrospectives based on films such as the one inspired by the western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, where the team must identify what went well (the good), what did not go so well (the bad) and what things they did not have the expected result (the ugly). Or the one inspired by the Fast & Furious saga where the goal is to see what things have made us go faster (fast) in contrast to those things that have not gone well (furious).

Film-based or even song-based retrospectives like The Elvis retrospective using “King of Rock and Roll” song titles.

  • “Always on my mind”: What should be top of mind?
  • “A little less conversation”: What are we always talking about but do we not take enough action on?
  • “Now or never”: What needs action right now or should be forgotten?
  • “Blue suede shoes”: Where should we be extra careful?
  • “Devil in disguise”: What danger are we currently missing?

In short, there are a large number of retrospectives of a very diverse nature that a team can carry out before the end of each Sprint, but neither the facilitator has to be the Scrum Master nor is it necessary to continuously innovate just for the sake of doing something different. In addition, timing is everything. Adding value and being an opportunity for “inspection” and “adaptation” will depend on the right time. This means that each retrospective must have a defined clear objetive to solve a specific problem, which may be approached differently depending on the level of maturity of the team.

However, it is clear that if same questions are always asked or even different questions but keeping the same focus, it is very probable that team members participate less creating less conversation and not offering possible key points for future improvements. Sprint Retrospectives like Back to the Future, Satisfaction Foot, Speed ​​Dating and Six Thinking Hats can help us to prevent this.

Having said that, there is no such thing as The perfect retrospective. Any other Sprint Retrospective you would like to point out?

Agile Coach | Scrum Master | Agile Trainer